Magnetic resonance imaging artifacts: mechanism and clinical significance.
Many types of artifacts may occur in magnetic resonance imaging. These artifacts may be related to extrinsic factors such as patient motion or metallic artifacts; they may be due specifically to the MR system such as power gradient drop off and chemical shift artifacts; they may occur as a consequence of general image processing techniques, as in the case of truncation artifacts and aliasing. Change in patient position, pulse sequence, or other imaging variables may improve some artifacts. Although reduction of some artifacts may require a service engineer, the radiologist has the responsibility to recognize MR imaging problems. The radiologist's knowledge of MR imaging artifacts is important to the continued maintenance of high image quality and is essential if one is to avoid confusing artifactual appearances with pathology.